Cooking Spanish Cuisine

Spanish cuisine consists of a variety of dishes, which stem from differences in geography, culture and climate. It is heavily influenced by seafood available from the waters that surround the country, and reflects the country's deep maritime roots. Spain's extensive history with many cultural influences has led to an array of unique cuisines with literally thousands of recipes and flavors. It is also renowned for its health benefits and fresh ingredients.
The first introduction of a product to ancient Iberia was that of wheat. Wheat was thought to be brought by Iberians from the south of the peninsula. It was perhaps brought from Aquitaine ( is one of the 27 regions of France, in the south-western part of metropolitan France, along the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range on the border with Spain ) in the north of the peninsula, due to the difficulty of transporting from the south. In time, the wheat of Iberia came to be considered to be the best in the Roman Empire, and became one of the main commodities of foreign trade.
There were two major kinds of diet in the peninsula. One was found in the northwest part of the peninsula, with more animal fats that correspond to the husbandry of the north. The other could be considered the precursor of the Mediterranean diet and was found in the southerly parts of the peninsula. As early as Roman times, with the exception of products later imported from the Americas, many modern foods were consumed, although mostly by the aristocracy, not the middle class. Cooking references from that era discuss the eating habits in Rome, where foods from all of the Empire's provinces were brought. Thousands of amphorae of olive oil were sent to Rome from Spain. Nonetheless, and especially in the Celtic areas, consumption of animal products (from lamb, beef, etc.) was more common than consumption of vegetables. Already in that era, cabbage was well known and appreciated, and considered a panacea for various aliments. Other popular vegetables of that time were thistles (such as artichokes) and onions. In Roman Spain the hams of Pomeipolis (Pamplona) had great prestige. The export of pork products became the basis of a strong local economy. It is almost certain that lentils were already consumed in Roman Spain, because they formed a staple food for the army and because they are easy to preserve and transport. Fava beans were known from antiquity and were considered sacred by the Romans. In the Saturnalia, the later December festival in honor of Saturn, fava beans were used to choose the king of the festival. This custom is believed to be the source of the present day custom of hiding an object in the roscón de reyes (similar to the sixpence traditional in a Christmas pudding); until quite recently, that object was a fava bean. Garbanzos were also popular, primarily among the poorer classes. Mushrooms were common and popular in the northern part of the country.
Viticulture already was known and practiced by the Romans, but it seemed as well the fact that it was the Greeks who extended the vine across the Mediterranean region. This includes those wines that were most popular in the Empire. In this era the wealthy typically ate while lying on a couch (a custom acquired from the Greeks) and using their hands, because forks were not used for eating. Tablecloths were introduced in the 1st century. They came to use two plates, one flat (platina or patella) and the other deep (catinus), which they held with the left hand. That hand could not be used for many other things while eating, given that they ate with their left arms while reclining in bed, so that only the right hand was free. They used spoons, which, like today, had different sizes, depending on what they were used for. The first spoons were made from clam shells (hence, the name cuchara), with silver handles. The mode of flavoring and cooking was quite distinct from what is found in modern times.
Typical dishes
Among the multitude of recipes that make up the varied cuisines of Spain, a few can be considered common to all or almost all of Spain's regions, even though some of them have an origin known and associated with specific places. Examples include most importantly potato omelette ("tortilla de patata", "tortilla española" or just "tortilla"), paella, various stews, migas, sausages (such as embutidos, chorizo, and morcilla), jamón serrano, and cheeses. There are also many dishes based on beans (chickpeas, lentils, green beans); soups, with many regional variations; and bread, that has numerous forms, with distinct varieties in each region. The regional variations are less pronounced in Spanish desserts and cakes: flan, custard, rice pudding (arroz con leche), torrijas, churros, and madeleines are some of the most representative examples.
Balearic cuisine
Is a Mediterranean cuisine as cooked in the Balearic Islands, Spain. Traditional Balearic cuisine is rich in vegetables, cereal and legumes as well as being low in fats. A succinct selection of the primary dishes would be ensaimades, seafood and vegetable stews, sobrassada, coques, tombet, Maó cheese and wine.

Coca:Similar to Italian pizza but without cheese. Typically, Majorcan varieties include julivert (parsley), pebres torrats (roasted peppers), and trempó (tomato, green pepper and onion salad).

Caldereta: is originally a goat stew made with tomato sauce, potatoes, spices, liver spread, olives, bell peppers and hot peppers. Variations of this dish is with beef, chicken and or pork.

Lobster stew:is a Minorcan dish. The lobster is added to a sofrito, onion, tomato, garlic and parsley and boiled, and is eaten with thin slices of bread. It is one of the most famous dishes in Minorca and even the King of Spain goes there sometimes only to savour this stew. This dish can only be eaten in spring and summer, since the local lobsters are protected and can only been captured between March and August.

Mayonnaise: Some historians argue that mayonnaise originates from Mahon, the capital of the Balearic island of Minorca. It is a stable emulsion of oil, egg yolk and either vinegar or lemon juice, with many options for embellishment with other herbs and spices. Lecithin in the egg yolk is the emulsifier. Mayonnaise varies in color but is often white, cream, or pale yellow. It may range in texture from that of light cream to thick. In countries influenced by France, mustard is also a common ingredient. In Spain, olive oil is used as the oil and mustard is never included. Numerous other sauces can be created from it with addition of various herbs, spices, and finely chopped pickles. Where mustard is used, it is also an emulsifier. The most probable origin of mayonnaise is that the recipe was brought back to France from the town of Mahón in Menorca (Spain), after Armand de Vignerot du Plessis's victory over the British at the city's port in 1756. According to this version, the sauce was originally known as "salsa mahonesa" in Spanish and "maonesa" in Catalan (as it is still known in Menorca), later becoming mayonnaise as it was popularized by the French.Mayonnaise can be made by hand with a mortar and pestle, whisk or fork, or with the aid of an electric mixer, or an electric blender. Mayonnaise is made by slowly adding oil to an egg yolk, while whisking vigorously to disperse the oil. The oil and the water in yolks form a base of the emulsion, while the lecithin from the yolks is the emulsifier that stabilizes it. Additionally, a bit of a mustard may also be added to sharpen its taste, and further stabilize the emulsion. Mustard contains small amounts of lecithin. It is a process that requires watching; if the liquid starts to separate and look like pack-ice, or curd, it simply requires starting again with an egg yolk, whisking it, slowly adding the 'curd' while whisking, and the mixture will emulsify to become mayonnaise.
Mahón cheese (Catalan: formatge de Maó) is a soft to hard white cheese made from cow's milk, named after the natural port of Mahón on the island of Minorca off the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Minorca is known for its cheese production and is home to one of the most respected dairy plants in Europe.

Sobrassada: is a raw, cured sausage from the Balearic Islands made with ground pork, paprika and salt and other spices. Sobrassada, along with botifarró are traditional Majorcan sausage meat products prepared in the laborious but festive rites that still mark the autumn and winter pig slaughter in Majorca. The chemical principle that makes sobrassada is the dehydration of meat under certain weather conditions (high humidity and mild cold) which are typical of the late Majorcan autumn.
Tombet: is a traditional vegetable dish from Mallorca. It is available at almost every local restaurant on the island. Tombet combines layers of sliced potatoes, aubergines and red bell peppers previously fried in olive oil. The aubergines and red peppers should not be peeled. The whole is topped with tomato fried with garlic and parsley and presented in a way that it looks like a pie without a crust. Tombet is often served along with fish or meat, but on its own it makes a good vegetarian dish.

Canarian cuisine
Canarian cuisine refers to the typical dishes and ingredients in the cuisine of the Canary Islands. These include plentiful fish, generally roasted, papas arrugadas (a potato dish), mojos (such as mojo picón), and wine from the malvasia grape.
Mojo is a sauce which may be orange, red, or green depending on its ingredients. Mojo is heavy in garlic and can be moderately spicy, referred to as mojo picón. It is usually made of oil, vinegar, salt, red pepper, thyme, oregano, coriander and several other spices. This is the father to all mojos of Latin America, especially Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela, due to heavy Canarian emigration, and have also influenced the cuisines of the non-Hispanic Caribbean islands.
Papas arrugadas are small unskined potatoes which have been boiled in salt water and are usually served with chicken and topped with mojo. Their name in Spanish means "wrinkled potatoes" and refers to their condition after being boiled and served.
One very typical Canarian product is gofio, a flour created by grinding roasted sweetcorn. Gofio is produced locally and is added to many foods and also to warm milk as a drink, as well as made into a dough-like food called pella and eaten alongside meals. It is also made into a hot dip. Canarians widely use olive oil in their foods, which are often prepared from scratch.
Other typical Canarian foods include ropa vieja ("old clothes"), a dish of chicken and beef mixed with potatoes and garbanzo beans, and potaje, a generic name for one of many stews. Canarian ropa vieja is the father to Cuban ropa vieja through Canarian emigration.
A sweet indulgence is bienmesabe which mean in Spanish "Tastes good to me". It's a paste made from grounded almonds, lemon rind and eggs. It's normally served as a dessert, nowadays sometime with cream or ice cream.
The wine from the malvasia grape was a product of canarian export since the 17th century, immediately after the decline of sugar plantations and until its commerce was blocked by the British navy in the late XVIII. Nowadays the islands produce ten of protected geographical indications.
Asturian cuisine Asturias is especially known for its seafood, such as fresh squid, crab, shrimp and sea bass. Salmon are caught in Asturian rivers, notably the Sella; the first fish of the season is called campanu (Bable word for campana), a bell tolled to signal the first catch.
The most famous regional dish is Fabada Asturiana, a rich stew made with large white beans (fabes), pork shoulder (lacón), morcilla, chorizo, and saffron (azafrán).
Apple groves foster the production of the traditional alcoholic drink, a natural cider (sidra). It is a very dry cider, and unlike French or English natural ciders, uses predominantly acidic apples, rather than sweet or bittersweet.
Asturian cheeses, especially Cabrales, are also famous throughout Spain and beyond; Cabrales is known for its pungent odour and strong flavour. Asturias is often called "the land of cheeses" (el pais de los quesos) due to the product's diversity and quality in this region.
Other major dishes include faba beans with clams, Asturian stew, frixuelos, and rice pudding. (The word "clam" can be applied to freshwater mussels, and other freshwater bivalves, as well as marine bivalves.)
Basque cuisine
Basque cuisine is influenced by the abundance of produce from the sea on one side and the fertile Ebro valley on the other. The mountainous nature of the Basque Country has led to a difference between coastal cuisine dominated by fish and seafood, and inland cuisine with fresh and cured meats, many vegetables and legumes, and freshwater fish and salt cod. The French and Spanish influence is strong also, with a noted difference between the cuisine of either side of the modern border; even iconic Basque dishes and products, such as txakoli from the South, or Gâteau Basque (Biskotx) and Jambon de Bayonne from the North, are rarely seen on the other side.
Basques have also been quick to absorb new ingredients and techniques from new settlers and from their own trade and exploration links. Jews expelled from Spain and Portugal created a chocolate and confectionery industry in Bayonne still well-known today, and part of a wider confectionery and pastry tradition across the Basque Country. Basques embraced the potato and the capsicum, used in hams, sausages and recipes, with pepper festivals around the area, notably Ezpeleta and Puente la Reina.
Cuisine and the kitchen are at the heart of Basque culture, and there is a Museum of Gastronomy in Llodio.
Typical Dishes:
Marmitako in Basque Country and Marmita or Sorropotún in Cantabria is a fish stew that was eaten on tuna fishing boats in the Cantabrian Sea. Today it is a beautiful and simple dish with potatoes, onions, pimientos, and tomatoes. The name means in Basque language 'from the pot'. Today it is a popular dish, in part due to the increasing popularity of Basque cuisine, and in part because it is one of the best-known ways to prepare tuna, a fish that is now widely prized for its nutritional value. There are also varieties of marmitako that substitute salmon for tuna.
A pincho (Spanish; literally, thorn or spike) or pintxo (Basque) is the name of certain snacks typically eaten in bars, traditional in northern Spain and especially popular in the Basque country. They are usually eaten in bars or taverns as a small snack while hanging out with friends or relatives; thus, they have a strong socializing component, and they are usually regarded as a cornerstone of Basque culture and society. They are related to tapas, the main difference being that pinchos are usually 'spiked' with a skewer or toothpick, often to a piece of bread. They are served in individual portions and always ordered and paid for independently from the drinks. It is not impossible, however, to have the same item called "pintxo" in the Basque Country and "tapa" elsewhere. They're called pinchos because many of them have a pincho (Spanish for spike), typically a toothpick —or a skewer for the larger varieties— through them. They should not be confused with brochettes, which in Latin America are called pinchos too; in brochettes, the skewer or toothpick is needed in order to cook the food or keep it together. Vitoria pintxos also come to be valued and sophisticated, which are combined with one of the best red wines of the world. Pinchos are used as an excuse for socializing. Typically, a group of friends will go from one tavern to another, drinking small glasses of wine or beer and eating pinchos.
Bacalao:is cod which has been preserved by drying after salting. Cod which has been dried without the addition of salt is called stockfish.Dried and salted cod has been produced in Canada, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Norway and Portugal for over 500 years. It forms a traditional ingredient of the cuisine of many countries around the Atlantic. Traditionally it was dried outdoors by the wind and sun, but today it is usually dried indoors with the aid of electric heaters.
Talo:is a typical food of the Basque Country, similar to the traditional Tortilla of Mesoamerica, made of corn flour and water. It is round and is cooked in a warm metal plank. Talo was used as bread in Basque houses, and the remainings were mixed with milk making something similar to soup, which was eaten for dinner. In 20th century the generalization of wheat bread reduced the consumption of talo, which started to only be eaten in special occasions. In Bilbao and Donostia it is an essential element at "Saint Thomas" fair, celebrated the 21 December. Nowadays it is eaten with txistorra (a type of thin chorizo) while drinking txakoli. It can also be eaten with fried pancetta ( in Basque xingar, in French Ventrêche) or fried Bayonne Ham, cheese like Ossau-Iraty, chocolate or honey. ( Txakoli is a slightly sparkling, very dry white wine with high acidity and low alcohol content produced in the Spanish provinces of the Basque Country, Cantabria and northern Burgos. Further afield, Chile is also a producer of chacolí. It is normally served as an aperitif and drunk within one year of bottling as it cannot be stored for longer. The most common, white, variety has a pale green colour, but there are red and rosé varieties. When served, it is normally poured into tall glasses from a height, often as an accompaniment to pintxos today. It typically has between 9.5-11.5 ABV.)
Gâteau Basque is a traditional dessert from the Basque region of France. Typically Gâteau Basque is constructed from layers of an almond flour based cake with a filling of either pastry cream or preserved cherries.
Cuajada is a compact, almost cheese-like product (milk curd), like curd "grains" condensed tightly to make a cheese of some sort, made traditionally from ewe's milk, but industrially and more often today from cow's milk. It is popular in the north-eastern regions of Spain (Basque Country, Navarre, Castilla y León, La Rioja). Cuajada is usually served as dessert with honey and walnuts or sometimes sugar, and, less often, for breakfast with fruit or honey. Raw warmed milk is mixed with rennet or with plant extracts and left to curdle. It was traditionally made in a wooden recipient called a kaiku and heated with a red-hot poker, giving it a distinct faintly burned taste. Cuajada means 'curdled' in Spanish. In Basque, it is called mamia.
Piperade (Gascon) or Piperrada (Basque), from piper (pepper in Gascon and Basque) is a typical Basque dish prepared with onion, green peppers, and tomatoes sautéd and flavoured with red Espelette pepper.[1] The colours coincidentally reflect the colours of the Basque flag (red, green and white). It may be served as a main or a side dish. Typical additions include egg, garlic or meats such as ham.
Bayonne Ham or Jambon de Bayonne is an air dried salted ham that takes its name from the ancient port city of Bayonne in the far South West of France, a city located in both the cultural regions of Basque Country and Gascony.
Chistorra is a type of fast-cure sausage from the Basque country and Navarre, Spain. It is made of minced pork, or a mixture of minced pork and beef, is encased in either lamb tripe or plastic, and has a fat content that varies between 70 and 80%. The sausage is flavored with garlic, salt, and paprika, which gives it a bright red color. It is usually baked, fried, or grilled and often accompanies other dishes, sometimes as part of tapas. The final cured product tends to be thinner than traditional chorizo or sausage, with a diameter of approximately 25 mm. The sausages average 40 cm in length, though there are cases when they reach up to 1 meter long. In some localities, chistorra is known as birika, the Basque word for lungs, and is made of pig lungs rather than regular meat. The local variety of chistorra available in the province of León is called Chistorra de León, and is made with a larger percentage of beef.Other common dishes include croissant preñado, a croissant with chistorra filler, and tortilla con chistorra, a potato or egg omelet with chistorra. Chistorra is a traditionally served on the feast day of Thomas the Apostle (December 21) in San Sebastián. During the festivities, chistorra is often served alongside talo and is accompanied by cider.
Patxaran (Basque from baso aran "wild plum", Spanish: Pacharán) is a sloe-flavoured liqueur commonly drunk in Navarre, the Pyrenees and elsewhere in Spain. It is usually served as a digestif either chilled or on ice.Patxaran is made by soaking sloe berries, collected from the blackthorn shrub, along with a few coffee beans and a vanilla pod in anisette. The process produces a light sweet reddish-brown liquid around 25-30% in alcohol content by volume.Known to have existed in Navarre as early as the Middle Ages, Patxaran was initially a home-made liqueur of rural Navarre and became popular during the late 19th century. It was commercialised in the 1950s and then became very popular outside Navarre.
Galician cuisine Galician cuisine refers to the typical dishes and ingredients found in the cuisine of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain. These include shellfish, empanadas, polbo á feira (a dish made of octopus), the cheese queixo de tetilla, the ribeiro and albariño wines and orujo liquor. The potato is a staple food in the region, first arriving in Spain from the Americas in the 16th century, and then grown first and foremost on the coasts of the Ría de Noia. In Galician cuisine, neither the cook or the recipe really matters; what is being served is the central part of the cuisine. In Galicia, a wide variety of sea produce can be found in traditional dishes, due to the province's long shoreline and traditional fishing economy. Agriculture products such as potatoes, maize and wheat are also a staple in the Galician diet, along with dairy and meat products from animals such as cows, sheep and pigs; Galicia's grasses and shrubs are green year-round and are excellent for grazing.
Typical recipes:
Polbo á feira (Galician name literally meaning "fair style octopus") alternatively known as polbo estilo feira and pulpo á galega is a traditional Galician dish. This dish is prepared by first boiling the octopus inside a copper cauldron. Before actually boiling it, the octopus is repeatedly dipped in and out of the boiling water, held by its head. The objective of this operation is to curl the tips of the tentacles. The tentacles are preferred over the head, which sometimes is discarded. The tendrils are sometimes best cherished by children. After the octopus has been boiled, it is trimmed with a scissors, sprinkled with coarse salt and paprika (pemento picante) and drizzled with olive oil. The optimal cooking point is the one in which octopus is not rubbery but not overcooked either, similarly to the al dente concept in Italian pasta cooking. This is achieved after approximately a 20 minutes boil, provided that the octopus is left to rest for a further 20 minutes inside the boiled water away from the fire. The provinces of Ourense and Lugo have by and large a reputation for good octopus cooking. Fair style octopus is the totemic food of the patron saint festivities of Lugo (San Froilán). Some Galician cooks specialize in this dish. They are usually women, known by the name pulpeiras (pidgin Spanish/Galician name). After the modern decay of traditional rural fairs, many pulperías (octopus restaurants, by its Spanish name) have sprouted across the Galician geography. Pulperías tend to be rough-and-ready eateries, rather than refined restaurants.
Empanadas trace their origins to Galicia, Spain and Portugal. They first appeared in medieval Iberia during the time of the Moorish invasions. A cookbook published in Catalan in 1520, the Libre del Coch by Ruperto de Nola, mentions empanadas filled with seafood among its recipes of Catalan, Italian, French, and Arabian food. In turn, it is believed that empanadas and the similar calzones are both derived from the Arabic meat-filled pies, samosa. In Galicia and Portugal, an empanada is prepared similar to a large pie which is cut in pieces, making it a portable and hearty meal for working people. The filling of Galician and Portuguese empanada usually includes either tuna, sardines or chorizo, but can instead contain cod fish or pork loin. The meat or fish is commonly in a tomato, garlic and onion sauce inside the bread or pastry casing. Due to the large number of Galician immigrants in Latin America, the empanada gallega has also become popular in that region.
An androlla is a Galician embutido made from pork. It is similar to the botillo sausages of León. It is prepared from the "cueras" (the end of a slab of bacon). Cueras are well cleaned, without the skin; rib meat is added with portions of the diaphragm muscles. It is eaten cooked and is often accompanied by "cachelos" (boiled potatoes). In the regions of León and Zamora, the word "androlla" can refer to any kind of pork sausage.
Botillo (Spanish), Botelo (Portuguese and Galician) or Butiellu (Leonese), is a dish of meat-stuffed pork intestine. It is a culinary specialty of El Bierzo, a county in the Spanish province of León and also of the region of Trás-os-Montes, in Portugal. The Spanish term "botillo", the Portuguese term "botelo" and Leonese term "butiellu" derive from the Latin word "botellus," meaning intestine. This type of Embutido/Enchido is a meat product made from different pieces left over from the butchering of a pig, including the ribs, tail, and bones with a little meat left on them. These are chopped; seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and other spices; stuffed in the cecum of the pig; and partly cured via smoking. It can also include the pig's tongue, shoulder blade, jaw, and backbone, but never exceeding 20% of the total volume. It is normally consumed cooked, covered with a sheet. Flavored with Chorizo/Chouriço/Chourizu, the pig's ear and snout together with very tender cabbage makes a tasty and substantial stew.
Tarta de Santiago is a famous type of almond cake or pie from Galicia, literally meaning cake of St. James, invented in the Middle Ages. The Galician name for cake is Torta whilst it is often referred to Tarta, which is the Spanish word. The filling principally consists of ground almonds, eggs and sugar. The top of the pie is usually decorated with powdered sugar, masked by an imprint of the Saint James cross (cruz de Santiago) which gives the pastry its name.
Valencian cuisine
Valencian cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine as cooked in the Valencian Community, Spain. Its basic ingredients are vegetables, seafood and meat. It is famous worldwide for its rices, such as paella, and its citrus fruits.
Main dishes:
Paella is a Valencian rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near lake Albufera, a lagoon in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain. Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain's national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols. There are three widely known types of paella: Valencian paella (Spanish: paella valenciana), seafood paella (Spanish: paella de marisco) and mixed paella (Spanish: paella mixta), but there are many others as well. Valencian paella consists of white rice, green vegetables, meat (rabbit, chicken, duck), land snails, beans and seasoning. Seafood paella replaces meat and snails with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of meat, seafood, vegetables, and sometimes beans. Most paella chefs use calasparra or bomba rices for this dish. Other key ingredients include saffron and olive oil. Living standards rose with the sociological changes of the late 19th century in Spain, giving rise to reunions and outings in the countryside. This led to a change of paella's ingredients as well, these being rabbit, chicken, duck and sometimes snails. This dish became so popular that in 1840 a local Spanish newspaper first used the word paella to refer to the recipe rather than the pan. The most widely used, complete ingredient list of this era was as follows: short-grain white rice, chicken, rabbit, snails (optional), duck (optional), butter beans, great northern beans, runner beans, artichoke (a substitute for runner beans in the winter), tomatoes, fresh rosemary, sweet paprika, saffron, garlic (optional), salt, olive oil and water. (Poorer Valencians, however, sometimes used nothing more than snails for meat.) Valencians insist that only these ingredients go into making modern Valencian paella.
Fideuà is a dish typical of the Valencian Community, in Spain. It originated in the 1960s in the city of Gandia when thin noodles like vermicelli were used instead of rice in the popular dish paella. There are many variations of it with different ingredients, but it is usually made with white-fleshed fish and crustaceans, and optionally served with allioli sauce.
Aioli is a garlic mayonnaise. It is a traditional sauce made of garlic, olive oil, and (typically) egg. There are many variations, such as the addition of mustard or, in Catalonia, pears. It is usually served at room temperature. The name aioli (alhòli) comes from Provençal alh 'garlic' (< Latin allium) + òli 'oil' (< Latin oleum). Aioli is, like mayonnaise, an emulsion or a suspension of small globules of oil and oil soluble compounds in water and water soluble compounds. Egg yolk can be used as an emulsifier and is generally used in making aioli. However, mustard and garlic both have emulsion-producing properties and some variants (such as Catalan Allioli) omit the egg. Generally, egg yolks, garlic and Dijon mustard (if adding this as a common variation on the basic aioli) are combined first with a whisk, then the oil and the lemon juice are added slowly with whisking to create the emulsion. The additions of the dissimilar ingredients must be slow to start and then can be faster once the initial emulsion has formed. Many restaurants refer to any flavored mayonnaise as an aioli. This is an incorrect definition unless the resulting sauce includes garlic. In Occitan cuisine, aioli is traditionally served with seafood, fish soup, and croutons, in a dish called merluça amb alhòli. In Malta, arjoli or ajjoli is commonly made with the addition of either crushed galletti or tomato. In the Occitan Valleys of Italy it is served with potatoes boiled with salt and bay laurel. In Provence, aioli (or more formally, Le Grand Aïoli) also designates a complete dish consisting of various boiled vegetables (usually carrots, potatoes, and green beans), boiled fish (normally, desalted salt cod), and boiled eggs served with the aioli sauce.
The coca is a pastry typically made and consumed in Catalonia, eastern parts of Aragon, most of Valencia, the Balearic Islands, Andorra and in French Catalonia. The coca is just one way of preparing a dish traditionally made all around the Mediterranean. There are many diverse cocas, with four main varieties: sweet, savoury, closed and open. All of them use dough as the main ingredient, which is then decorated. This dough can be sweet or savoury. If it is sweet, eggs and sugar are added, and if it is savoury, yeast and salt. As regards the topping or filling, fish and vegetables are usual at the coast whilst inland they prefer fruit, nuts, cheese and meat. Some cocas can be both sweet and savoury (typically mixing meat and fruit).
Andalusian cuisine
Andalusian cuisine is rather varied, corresponding to a region that is itself extensive and varied. Notwithstanding that, the cuisine of Andalusia is characterized by gazpacho, fried fish (often called pescaito frito in the local vernacular), the jamones of Jabugo, Valle de los Pedroches and Trevélez, and the wines of Jerez, particularly sherry. Frying in Andalusian cuisine is dominated by the use of olive oil that is produced in the provinces of Jaén, Córdoba, Seville, and Granada. The foods are dredged in flour a la andaluza (meaning only flour, without egg or other ingredients, but may include flour from the chickpea especially for use in batters). They are then fried in a large quantity of hot olive oil. With five coastal provinces, the consumption of fish and shellfish is rather high: white shrimp from the Bay of Cádiz; prawns; murex; anchovies; baby squid; cuttlefish; "bocas de la Isla", a dish found in San Fernando that uses a local crab that can regenerate its claw; flounder; smelts; etc. Andalusian cuisine includes also some unusual seafood, like ortiguillas, sea anemones in batter. Andalusian desserts are heavily influenced by medieval Andalusian cuisine. Notable dishes include pestiños (a deep-fried pastry bathed in honey), alfajores, amarguillos (a form of almond macaroons) from Medina Sidonia, the polvorones (almond cookies of Estepa), lard bread, wine doughnuts, and torrijas. The wines of Jerez (also known as sherry) are famous the world over, praised even by William Shakespeare. Other standouts are the manzanilla of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, the white wines of Cádiz, paxarete (a sherry derivative), wines of Condado in Huelva, wines of Montilla-Moriles in Córdoba, wines of Málaga, and la tintilla of Rota. The liquors of the region are also popular, included the anís made in Rute, and in Cazalla de la Sierra, and the rums from the Tropical Coast of Granada (Motril).
Typical dishes:
Salmorejo is a cream consisting of tomato and bread, originating in Cordova (Andalusia) in the south of Spain. It is made from tomatoes, bread, oil, garlic and vinegar. Normally, the tomatoes are skinned and then puréed with the other ingredients. The soup is served cold and garnished with diced Spanish Serrano ham and diced hard-boiled eggs. It has a pink-orange appearance like gazpacho, but salmorejo is much thicker, because it includes more bread. In Andalusia it is known by several other names, including ardoria. Several variations exist in Andalucia; the following recipe is representative of the type of salmorejo served in any bar or home. Salmorejo is also the name given to a marinade typical of Canary Island cuisine. It is used to flavour meat before cooking, especially rabbit ("conejo en salmorejo") which is a speciality of the islands. Typical marinade ingredients include salt, garlic, paprika and hot peppers.
The flamenquín is a dish typical of the cuisine of Córdoba (Spain). It owes its name, which translates literally to "little Fleming", to the fact that its golden color, deriving from the egg used in the batter, resembled the blond hair of the Flemings who came to Spain accompanying the Emperor Charles V. The flamenquín consists of pieces of pork loin wrapped with slices of jamón serrano, coated with breadcrumbs and egg and then deep-fried. It is often garnished with French fries and mayonnaise. A common variation replaces the loin with boiled ham. It can also be made with other fillings, such as cheese, or sausage. The size of the finished roll ranges from a small ball up to pieces 40 centimetres (16 in) long, and can be served sliced or whole.
Ajoblanco (sometimes written ajo blanco) is a popular Spanish cold soup typical from Granada and Málaga (Andalusia). It is also a common dish in Extremadura (Ajo Blanco Extremeño). This dish is made of bread, crushed almonds, garlic, water, olive oil, salt and sometimes vinegar. It is usually served with grapes or slices of melon. When almonds were not available, for instance during the post-war period, flour from dried beans was used. It is similar to gazpacho, containing its four key ingredients: water, oil, garlic and bread.
Migas is the name used for a dish in Spanish and Portuguese cuisine and a significantly different dish in Tex-Mex cuisine. Migas are a traditional dish in Spanish cuisine. Originally eaten as a breakfast that made use of leftover bread or tortas, today, migas are a fashionable first course served for lunch and dinner in restaurants in Spain. Some historical sources associate the origins of this dish to North African couscous. The ingredients of migas vary across the provinces of Spain. In Extremadura, this dish includes day-old bread soaked in water, garlic, pimentón, olive oil, and contains spinach or alfalfa, often served with pan-fried pork ribs. In Teruel, Aragon, the migas include chorizo and bacon, and are often served with grapes. In La Mancha, the migas manchegas are of a more elaborate preparation, but contain basically the same ingredients as the Aragonese migas. In Andalucia, migas are often eaten the morning of the matanza (butchery) and are served with a stew including curdled blood, liver, kidneys, and other offal, traditionally eaten right after butchering a pig, a sheep or a goat. The migas are often cooked over an open stove or coals. In Tex-Mex cuisine, migas are a traditional breakfast dish consisting of scrambled eggs mixed with strips of corn tortilla; the meatless version includes diced onions, sliced chile peppers, diced fresh tomatoes, and cheese, plus various spices and condiments (e.g. salsa or pico de gallo). Migas are typically served with refried beans, and corn or flour tortillas are used to enfold all of the ingredients into tacos. In some areas, it may have been traditionally eaten during Lent. The meat version adds a spicy chorizo to the standard ingredients. The tortilla strips can also be deep-fried until crunchy (not traditional).
Andalusian gachas, gachas andaluzas, are traditionally made of wheat flour. The traditional way of cooking them consists in frying garlic slices in olive oil until they are golden. Then the flour is added by sprinkling it over the hot oil with one hand and mixing well with the spoon until the mixture is slightly roasted. Water is added then, pouring it very slowly, while stirring the mixture all the while without interrupting the bubbling. Salt and water are added to taste and desired consistency, the gachas being ready when they "smell cooked". There are many variations of the gachas in Andalusia itself, like the, poleá (Seville), Gachas de Almería, Gachas alpujarreñas (from las Alpujarras area in Granada), Gachas cordobesas (Cordova), or Gachas malagueñas (Malaga). The gachas in Andalusia can be colored with sweet paprika or saffron (Gachas de pimentón or Gachas colorás), which adds to their flavor. Fried onion and bread croutons may be also added in certain regions. The Gachas de matanza (butchery gachas) are gachas served with a stew including curdled blood, liver and offal, traditionally eaten right after butchering a pig, a sheep or a goat.
In Andalusia, puchero was originally peasant food. Its primary ingredients include: chickpeas; rice or noodles; beef, veal, and/or chicken; bacon; pork ribs; salt; bone of jamón serrano; potatoes; and various vegetables such as cabbage, celery, squash, chard, carrots, and turnips. The dish was traditionally eaten over the course of several days. On the first day, the stew is usually eaten with rice, while on the second day it is traditionally accompanied by noodles. After the puchero has been served, the leftover are used in a variety of subsequent dishes. Left-over broth, called caldo —or caldito— de puchero, is eaten with some leaves of fresh spearmint as consommé. The meat left-overs, called pringá, is usually served separately as a main dish. Meat remnants are either cooked into croquettes or prepared as ropa vieja, depending on the locality.
Gazpachuelo is a soup originating in Malaga and is a typical fisherman dish, consisting of a fish stock and a base of a kind of garlic mayonnaise, egg yolk and olive oil. It is accompanied by the white of egg into small cubes and potatoes cooked also in cubes and slices of toast. Although it is drunk hot, it owes its name to the four basic ingredients: gazpacho, bread, garlic, oil and water. It is a typical dish of the lower class because of the economic development of their basic ingredients. It is eaten with a spoon and bread dipped in the broth. Other variations can be used: boiled potatoes with shell fish, peeled shrimps or whitebait.
Pringá is a Spanish dish popular in rural Andalusia. It consists of roast beef or pork, cured sausages such as chorizo and morcilla, and beef or pork fat slow cooked for many hours until the meat falls apart easily. Pieces of crusty bread are used to pull away a little meat, sausage, and fat. It is a social dish eaten around the family dinner table.

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